Today, Roanoke, Va., mayor David Bowers acknowledged similarities between banning assistance to Syrian refugees based on their country of origin and the use of Japanese internment camps during World War II.
The camps, where tens of thousands of American citizens were held against their will because they were of Japanese ancestry, represent one of the ugliest black marks on our country’s history in the 20th century. By learning from our past mistakes, Bowers argued in a written statement today, we can avoid the fear and hatred that motivated Japanese internment and replace them with compassion and—
Actually, Mayor Bowers seems to think that Japanese internment was...good?
The mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, cites Japanese internment camps in his opposition to resettling Syrian refugees. pic.twitter.com/Kq9hDnL7fJ— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) November 18, 2015
Thus, today, I’m requesting that all Roanoke Valley governments and non-governmental agencies suspend and delay any further Syrian refugee assistance until these serious hostilities and atrocities end, or at the very least until regarded as under control by U.S. authorities, and normalcy is restored.
I’m reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from Isis now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.
Whatever your stance on them, Japanese internment camps are certainly a potent historical metaphor!